Sunday 23 January 2005

Of Tsunamis and people

The Chain of years
Finally, one has gotten to that point where it is impossible to not realise that the New Year has come and gone and there are new things on the horizon.
In the time before Christmas 2004 and now, there have been such world changing events it has been impossible not to be affected, concerned or involved, but how much of the response to all this is genuine, reflective and the impetus to do better at working for a just and free world?
Tsunami of water
Starting with the tsunami which made a devastating visitation to the Indian Ocean wiping out almost 200,000 souls, it appears from all analysis that whilst the tsunami was not preventable preventative measures could have been taken to prevent that magnitude of loss of life if people who observed that earthquake had been more imaginative in their understanding of that event.
An earthquake of that magnitude 9.0 on the Richter scale with its epicentre in the middle of an ocean would almost always result in a tsunami on its surrounding shores. In some cases people had up to 3 hours to evacuate before being overwhelmed with such damaging force.
Whilst there is no sophisticated tsunami warning system and outlying areas were inhabited by rural folk who live in standards of poverty unseen in the West, but also with dazzling amounts of contentment not seen in the West either, it is debatable that every house does not have a wireless and probably a town-crier.
A wireless, one must say is a radio, the news of impending danger could have gone out on the primitive communication device and been much help.
However, at the cost of probably billions of dollars an early warning system would be implemented for the sophisticated and hopefully, not to the exclusion of the less technologically savvy.
It simply goes without saying that the quantity of scientific brains lacking common sense is increasing alarmingly, the inability to use imagination in the useful salvation of life when pigeon-holed in the scientific laboratories and research centres without thinking of cost and profit is becoming unforgivable.
It is that same misguided notion that makes September the eleventh 2001 most poignant, America was not attacked with bombs, missiles or military weapons rather, it was 4 fully laden airplanes - passengers and fuel - that flew into the twin towers and the Pentagon - the advent of Mr George W. Bush's interesting presidency.
Basically, security, freedom, democracy, safety are in the hands of the citizens of the world, not the tools that we use to bring them about. What would seismologists have done if the earthquake were closer to home?
The exhortation rings along once again - always think globally, no matter what is happening locally. [1]
The Tsunami of aid
Yesterday at a benefit concert in the United Kingdom, GBP 1,25 million was raised for the victims of the tsunami disaster just at the same time that it was making the news that tetanus is becoming the biggest threat to survivors and the relief volunteers.
Pledges close to $2 billion have been made with so much noise made of the generosity of the West and the miserliness of the Arab states.
It comes to might that teaching of Jesus where He exhorts that works of charity should be such that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
For once, I have distanced myself from the hysteria of donations whilst trying to see where if the pledges would be fulfilled first, and then if all that would really be used for the affected.
The Tsunami of democracies
First with Ukraine, who have finally been able to inaugurate their chosen president because one principle was about the people and the other was about methods and tools.
Democracy should always be about people, and if any lesson can be learnt from the trial of democracy in Ukraine; the will of the people should and must prevail.
The Palestinians had an opportunity to elect someone after the death of the man who kept the Palestinian cause in the public eye. Mr Yasser Arafat did not lead his people to the chosen land, he was no Moses.
What he saw from the mountain top was not pleasing to him nor could he persuade his people of that in 2000. It was an opportunity missed, but he hoped he would get better. No matter how Mr Arafat is castigated, he remains the true spirit of the Palestinian cause any successor would be dwarfed in his shoes, but a new beginning beckons.
Next change? Israel.
An inauguration costing $40 million; and this for a re-election that nobody but Americans wanted. The tendency for a leader of a constituency of just under 300 million people of a global population close to 6.3 billion to intend and imply that that election leads to world presidency needs to be nipped at the bud.
The slanted American democratic practices which I have covered in many ways in my blogs do not have the kudos to be extrapolated to mean global leadership.
One could be forgiven for thinking the inauguration speech was a Sunday morning TV evangelist sermon on freedom and liberty, but then for someone who has such strong moral values, determination and convictions, I am at loss in seeing the difference between Mr George W. Bush and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini – the former leading a democracy masquerading as a theocracy in the US and the latter having lead a theocracy masquerading as a democracy in Iran.
Basically, the government of the people cannot move back to a theocracy in the earth that we live in today, because the concepts of God, authority, leadership and attendant interpretation of those issues impact of the citizenry in different ways.
The agreement of purpose cannot only be imposed by accepted tyranny as in Iran or the Patriot Act in the States exemplified in the so vividly in Guantanamo Bay.
Next on the democratic list is Iraq, where the candidature is hardly known to the electorate and chaos reigns as if the birthplace of chaos is Babylon, it is unlikely Nostradamus foresaw that amazing genius that has used the force of freedom to sacrifice life, peace, sovereignty and common sense in one blow.
If there is any change, it cannot be the increase of peace for the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, it appears the year 2005 would be ever so interesting – how you read interesting would depend on if you are a native English speaker from Britain or from elsewhere.
[1] The Asian Tsunami: Think Globally, Locally, Journalistically

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